COVID has cancelled a whole host of Whiskey Festivals this year.
I did manage to get in the excellent Fife Whisky Festival just before the lockdown – but it may prove to be the only physical show I’ll get to.
So when Summerton Whisky Club announced their online virtual festival – I had to give it a go!
Initially I was worried the festival pack wouldn’t get through the rather clogged postal situation – but it arrived in plenty of time.
My next problem was technology!
Turns out my old laptop is not up to speed – thank goodness for a loan of the wife’s modern machinery!
Bimber were up first.
This new London distillery offered an exbourbon cask at a stonking 51.8% to get things rolling!
A gorgeously rich vanilla laden single malt!
I must profess to having a soft spot for Bimber. A sample of their 1st Release came my way & impressed me very much.
After trying a London Single Malt – Dublin’s Single Pot Still was in order!
Under my table was Dublin’s 1st whiskey release in many years – Teeling Single Pot Still Batch 1.
Very fresh & fruity in comparison to Bimber. Less wood influence too. Afraid to say Bimber wins out in this comparison!
Scalasaig’s Blended Malt Island Hopper sailed in next.
Soft peat & caramel with a warming smokey fire.
A back to back with The Dark Silkie blend was in order.
Silkie came over cleaner, fresher & ultimately more enjoyable!
A Limited Edition 14 year old Tawny Port Finished Glen Scotia proved to be a stunner!
Ruby coloured, rich, nutty & warming with a hit of peat from the 52.8% strength. Fabulous!
Campletown Whisky obviously suits my palate after it came out tops in a blind tasting I did recently.
The Lakes Distillery The One Signature Blend suffered a little from the previous offering.
The bottle appears to be redesigned & re-recipied from my 1st encounter at a Whisky Birmingham Show a few years ago. The main difference being Lakes own malt is used in the whisky.
One came across as a soft easy peater. Perhaps a sherry influence had detracted from the peat hit for me?
Hinch is the first Irish contribution to the show.
The 5 Year Old Double Wood brings out the warm vanilla & spice of the cask maturation – although I still prefer the Peated Single Malt sampled previously.
Lambay provided the 2nd Irish selection with a cute duo of miniatures featuring their cognac finished blend & single malts.
It’s fortunate I enjoyed larger samples at a tasting hosted in Sean’s Bar, Athlone. I’m still enjoying the fresher Small Batch blend over the smoother Single Malt though.
I didn’t have a cognac handy to try out the source cask – so made do with a brandy – and found those dark fruity & nutty notes along with a slight spice from the wood that enhanced the Lambay.
I do love Mackmyra’s Limited Editions. They are creative, experimental & feature part of Sweden in every bottle. My last time in Gotherburg introduced me to the range.
Efva & Fjällmark were the 2 samples. Both impressed me with their richness, depth & complexity – but Fjällmark just pipped the post for me.
I couldn’t pass up the chance to compare these 2 with a Single Cask Reserve Rök, 1st fill bourbon Mackmyra.
At this stage of the evening I’d usually be on the train home – or tucking into a big feed to sober up – but Wolfburn were the finale with a duo of single malts – Morven & Northland.
I was pleased to be reacquainted with these softly peated malts. The Morven won out in this contest.
Congratulations to all the team at Summerton Whisky Club for hosting this virtual show.
It’s been fun – but I must admit to missing the real thing.
My dram of the day?
Glen Scotia from the actual show
& Mackmyra Reserve Cask from under my table!